Did you know Texas is currently the leading state in fatal crane accidents in the U.S.? According to recent news, Texas has experienced roughly four times the amount of fatal crane accidents other states had between 2011 and 2015 and nine workers in North Texas have been killed in crane accidents since 2012. Because of these frightening facts, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has decided to take action. In an effort to crack down on the excessive amount of crane accidents in the Lone Star State, OSHA has decided to increase the state’s safety inspections. While it sounds like a great start toward reducing the number of these accidents, many in the construction industry are curious as to what exactly this will mean moving forward.
Common Causes of Crane Accidents in Texas
According to an industry report regarding crane accidents, wind was a major factor in 23% of fatal crane accidents around the world. With the most recent death, the ninth in North Texas since 2012, it is critical to highlight other common causes in this industry, in the hopes of encouraging increased safety adoption and diminishing avoidable threats.
Some of the most common causes of crane accidents in Texas include:
- Poorly trained or untrained workers
- Heavy winds or severe weather
- Contact with electrical lines or nearby objects
- Improper loading or unloading
- Inadequate assembly of materials and support
- Mechanical failures and malfunctions
- Inadequate maintenance on equipment
While every case is different, these are some of the most common causes of crane accidents in our state. Now, how do we fix it? What is OSHA’s plan to make sure these problems do not persist?
Reducing Texas Crane Accidents
According to federal reports, OSHA found the potential risks were “far greater than the elevated risk reported by employers” and has now enforced an initiative specifically targeting Texas crane operators. The initiative aims to increase crane inspections, with the overall goal to decrease the seemingly growing number of serious accidents and fatal injuries in the Texas construction industry.
Before December of 2018, crane operators were not required to hold a license to operate cranes in Texas. This lack of education could have been the cause of many of the accidents that occurred, as we all know proper safety training is essential for operating heavy machinery and preventing accidents. Now, the federal government has required all crane operators to be certified.
Texas Crane Accident Help
Unfortunately, these rules were not enforced from the beginning and crane accidents are all too common in Texas. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a crane or construction accident injury, we can help. Contact the trial attorneys at Adame Garza LLP in order to receive your free case evaluation today.